Sunday, February 20, 2011

Good PR from a big brewer

You may recall my disappointment over the recent dark beer tasting conducted by myself and devoted AussieBeerBlog follower Darren (lol).

The Crown Ambassador results were particularly disappointing, and considering its profile and value, I decided to take the issue up with Foster's Consumer Relations.

I initially penned an email enquiring as to why the beer appeared to me to be off.  The response was somewhat condescending, advising perhaps that I was not used to the style of the beer, and maybe giving it some more time to mature.

My reply to this was that, according to well-known beer writer Willie Simpson, the 3rd release of this strong lager has been contaminated by the Brettanomyces microflora. And for Willie it took some prodding to get the Foster's chief brewer to actually admit that, yes, due to the blending of different ages and the use of oak barrels, some bottles may have Brett characteristics.

Therefore, it was a bit disingenous to suggest to me that the style was intentional. Particularly as the styles that do incorporate Brett and other microflora are distinctly Belgian ales, not strong lagers.

So, I advised, I believe that the resulting beer was not what the brewer intended, contaminated, and not what was advertised.  At no stage did I advise that I have a blog, and may in fact know my Brett from my Butt.

But... it ended happily.  Dave from the consumer relations team agreed and will replace my bottle, albeit with a 2009 edition.

So, after a couple of exchanges with major brew companies, I'm pleased to announce a progress score:

Fosters 1
Lion Nathan 0

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